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  1. #1
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    York Springs, Pennsylvania, USA

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    So, what are some pros and cons of vertical vs. horizontal shoulder holsters? Does anyone have experience with one the other or both? I'm interested in this for open and / or concealed carry.



  2. #2
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    , , USA

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    This is exactly how I wear my shoulder holster:

    I'll now try to explain why I wear it this way and why I think it's the best position to carry a shoulder holster in. All without pictures, of course. The main criteria for determining my method of carry in a shoulder holster was amount of wrist angle movement and grip readjustment. Less movement the better, and prefereably no grip readjustment required.

    Horizontal vs. Vertical:

    This was probably the easiest shoulder holster carrying decision to make. Vertical seems entirely impractical to me. You're drawing up, your wrist will be >90 degrees bent at your peak of the draw (in order to clear the holster) if you can manage to get a firing grip on the gun while drawing. At this point the gun is in front of your face or high chest with the wrist still bent 90 degrees. So in order to get to a firing position you have to draw, straighten your wrist, drop your right elbow, tuck in your right elbow, add support hand, and move to your preferred firing stance. The chance you'll need to readjust your grip is pretty high.

    For horizontal you do not have bend your wrist 90 degrees to clear your holster, your gun isn't in front of your face and your right elbow only needs to be tucked in order to add your support hand. So all you have to do draw, tuck your elbow, add your support hand, and move to your preferred firing stance. The chance you'll need to readjust your grip is higher than a waist holster, but it can be lowered by my advice below.

    Horizontal Angle 1:

    Pretend we're looking down from above at you.
    This is your chest cross-section: <>
    This is your holster: |

    If you have your holster riding horizontal in either of these two configurations:
    \ <> or | <>
    then you will will have a really hard time drawing with your "firing grip". You'll likely have to readjust your grip before firing. This is because the strain on your wrist to draw at a 90+ degree angle and pulling away from yourself.
    This leaves this configuration:
    / <>
    You can draw from this configuration without significantly bending your wrist and can easily start your draw with your firing grip.

    Horizontal Angle 2:
    Pretend we're looking toward you like this:
    Your holster can ride in one of the following configurations:
    -- (truly horizontal, Like the picture)
    \ (canted up)
    / (canted down)

    With the holster canted up, you finish your draw with your elbow far out and to the right of you. So you would need to draw, drop your elbow, tuck your elbow, add your support hand, and assume your firing stance.

    With it horizontal, it's the same sequence, but you just drop your elbow less (almost not at all).

    With the holster canted down you don't need to drop your elbow at all. All you have to do is draw, tuck your elbow (at which point the gun is about at your right nipple, perfect for adding your support hand), add your support hand, and assume your firing stance. And you can do it while initially drawing with your firing grip.

    Hope this makes sense.

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